Cats Are Human Too

Written By: Renea  Zeh

Throughout my life, starting when I was five there was always a time when I had a cat. It wasn’t till I

was on my own, I came to learn the lessons of this animal. Thus far there has been many a lesson from

five of them that have passed on and are in kitty heaven, buried in my back yard, as of human cemetery.

The personality of Casba who lived till his twenty second birthday was a regal cat. He did not care for other

cats and of other animals at all. His steadfast disposition was true until old age set in. Perhaps it was my

naivete of not having a companion for Casba that led him to be a dedicated individual to me.

All he knew was me. Due to this he became very protective of me. His baby years were spent confined to a

one bedroom apartment on the first floor of Victorian house. I was gone most of the time due to my choice of

over working. To entertain himself there would be situations of me coming home to a gray and white fuzz

ball hanging on my white fiberglass drapes. The little guy was clueless of how to operate his tiny claws. His

tiny cute face registered confusion and horror, incognizant to what was going on around him as I took

back his freedom. To my dismay, I would not be able to discipline him because of my absence from the home.

Young and on my own, thinking not twice, I had Casba’s front paws declawed by a veterinary months later. In

time I learned it was unnatural for cats to have this procedure done. I came to understand the reasoning for

biting for defense.

This action came to head when a male visitor came for the weekend. The young man was walking through

the living room and Casba a teenage in cat years, grabbed hold of his back right ankle and bit him. The visitor

who was as big as a lumber jack, gave a yep of surprise turning slowly to see Casba sternly looking up at him

filled with confidence. Standing at the other side of the living room experiencing this drama, I then

acknowledged the protectiveness Casba had for of me. As time carried on there would be others bitten either

on hand, arm or the sneak attack ankle bit. I wondered if this was his way of expressing jealousy.


Casba’s play or his boredom manifested when I came home to a few records pulled out of their upright

position and their corners were chewed on. Years later, I too was branded on my top right hand, I accepted it

as a love bite. I viewed Casba’s bites as expression of his emotions such as a child’s growing stages, the

developmental process that a mother oversees. During Casba’s teenage years, that is when he began to sit up

right on the floor. His front paws as arms crossed his crotch, his lower back hunched. For the longest time a

colored eight by ten of Cas in that position, hung in my bedroom. The photo chaptered sweet young face of

Cas looking right at the lens.

Many a story of Casba’s adult years proved to be of loyalty. There was my long term live together

relationship that ended in a spit. The three of us were a family. The fact Casba had been with me prior to this

relationship, he took my side. This was proven when my x came into the living room and Casba sensing

fault jumped up into the TV armoire, which he never did and sat with his back to him. There were a few more

times before the x moved out that Cas would turn his back on him.

I remember once I was on my knees, digging in my garden and the neighbor’s dog began barking and

growling at me. I was annoyed by the dog’s rudeness. Suddenly the dog took charge at me from across the

road. Casba ran from the front steps and darted in front of me facing the dog; body curved, hissing and strung

out tail erected. The neighbor came from her house and calling out the dog’s name. Casba stood ground. After-

wards I started to call Casba my main man! Casba’s favorite place to sit was the front steps, keeping tabs on

nature. Summer months would bring me weekend hours of weeding and planting. One afternoon I lounged

in the front yard, basking in sun. As I lay there tranquil eyes closed, the shore’s edge rumpling behind me, a

sound of nibbling interrupted, a few feet away from my feet. I open my eyes to a horrifying fat brown furry

woodchuck gorging on leaves of flowers, leaving the stems. I became out raged! I sprang up screaming! The

woodchuck scurried to the side of the house to the back. Trailing behind was Casba. Following them barefoot,

forgetting to put on flip flops, my feet pinching vie sorts of fallen debris from the cedar and locus trees. I slid,

to cut the turn for the back yard, there in my view the woodchuck waddled passed another woodchuck, maybe


a mother. There it stood on its hind legs showing beaver like teeth. Noticing its extended vulture claws I stood

steadfast. “If there’s one, there’s always another not too far. So, there they are, more of the family bastards!”

I screamed looking around the back yard for even more members. Casba stood beside me. The bastard cocked

it’s head eyeing me, ready for war with muddled brown eyes and ratchet claws. I had wished I had a gun! The

closest would be a shovel, but I would have to go behind it for one. It ended, with them retreating to the

woods. Casba did have an encounter with one. I had not known till petting and grooming him that there was a

deep cut along the side jaw. It was not healing and I took him to the vet and he had stitches. Cas never had

another confrontation with a woodchuck ever again. I promised Casba that someday I would make a fur coat

out of woodchuck! I…….. never did.